Monday 18 August 2014

Bout of Books 11: Monday and Tuesday

Hello and welcome! As I'm at work today I'm doing that amazing time-travel trick of writing the first part of this post last night - although the reading starts at midnight. I've finished my Fringe boxset and the book I've been reading, so should have no distractions, and have finished a book so I'm ready to start Bout of Books with something new. Like last time, I've made a shortlist of seven books from my to-read pile, and aim to read at least four of them. This week I'm working today, tomorrow, a four-hour shift on Friday, and all day Saturday, leaving me with a nice amount of reading time.

The shortlist

Weirdo - Cathy Unsworth 
Terra - Mitch Benn
Horns - Joe Hill
The Elephant Vanishes - Haruki Murakami
That's Not A Feeling - Dan Josefson
The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton
The Silkworm - "Robert Galbraith"

So that's two crime novels, one science fiction, one horror, one novel concerned with mental health, one historical novel which looks like it might be a bit eerie, and a book of short stories which are sure to be at least a little odd because Murakami. Have you read any of these books, and if so, what do you think?


I've been quite busy at work (a bookshop) trying to make space in the stockroom for - groan - the Christmas books that I expect to start coming in at any time. It's August! *whines pathetically.* At lunch time I read the first fifty or so pages of That's Not A Feeling, which is very surreal-feeling without actually being surreal, at least yet.

The Book Monsters have kicked off this Bout of Books with a Scavenger-Hunt challenge, which I couldn't resist - even though I really ought to be settling down and actually reading a bit more of my book.

1. A book that begins with "B" (for Bout of Books): Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.

2. A book that has been made into a movie/TV show: Watchmen by Alan Moore.

3. A series you love: Discworld by Terry Pratchett

4. An anthology of poems or short stories: The Oxford Library of English Poetry - 3 volumes. My Grandma gave me this when she sold her house and moved into a retirement flat. I always intend to read more poetry, but find it difficult to know where to start.

5. A book on your TBR (to be read) shelf, or your full TBR shelves: Actually I don't have a to-read shelf, just a pile building up under my windowsill. I've already shown you the shortlist for reading during Bout of Books but here are (some of) the rest of my unread books:

Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King
The Gunslinger - Stephen King
The Passage - Justin Cronin
Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind
Cat Among the Pigeons - Julia Golding
The Player of Games - Iain M. Banks
Goodnight, Beautiful - Dorothy Koomson
Dream London - Tom Ballantyne
The Ghost Hunters - Neil Spring
Interworld - Neil Gaiman and Michael Reeves - how had I forgotten I had an unread Gaiman?! 
A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula Le Guin
The Beginners' Goodbye - Anne Tyler
The Crow Road - Iain Banks
Dark Places - Gillian Flynn
The Ode Less Travelled - Stephen Fry
The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

Monday stats:

Books read today: That's Not A Feeling - Dan Josefson
Pages read: 242
Quote of the Day: "I didn't like the feeling of separating myself in two: the Benjamin who was doing the thinking and the Benjamin that was being thought about."


Another busy day at work, and now we have a nice empty corner of the stock room for all the new books when they start to arrive in the next couple of weeks. At lunch time I read most of the rest of That's Not A Feeling, but it was slowed down when my vision started to go shadowy, heralding a migraine. I suffer migraines a lot, and am on two different kinds of medication which keeps most of them away but not all. Usually they are triggered by stress or exhaustion, but today I'm not sure where it came from. I finished my book when I got home from work but then had a lie down before dinner. I'm feeling much better - I didn't get much of a headache this time, just the groggy numb-brain - but the mini-review of That's Not A Feeling will have to wait until tomorrow now. For the rest of the evening I intend to potter around on the internet a bit and visit other Bout of Books bloggers, and read some of the short stories in The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami.

Tuesday Stats

Books read today: That's Not A Feeling - Dan Josefson
The Elephant Vanishes - Haruki Murakami: "The Wind-Up Bird and Tuesday's Women", "The Second Bakery Attack" and "The Kangeroo Communique."
Pages read: 161
No. of books finished: 1
Quote of the Day: "McDonald's is not a bakery."


  1. Oh, The Miniaturist! You're in for a treat with that - it was different to what I had expected but it's great! Something a bit different.

    Every Day is most definitely on my list for the week! (Thank you again!) I'm reading a sort-of Japanese ghost story at the moment and when that's done, it's on to the birthday rooms :)

    1. Which is the Japanese ghost story? Sounds amazing just from that description. I do hope you enjoy Every Day.

  2. I have that Oxford English Poetry :-) and the same edition of Shakespeare. I've been hearing lots of good things about The Miniaturist, and also have somehow not read Interworld. It will have to wait till January now, as aside from the Halloween Ninja Swap, I'm on a buying ban till then! 350+ unread books is enough!! Have a great week!

    1. Yes, I have the same Shakespeare too - in three volumes? It's a complete Shakespeare that is actually readable, and I love it. Found it in Oxfam in Hythe when I went over there on a day trip. Good luck with the buying ban - I've just banned myself from buying books until payday at the end of the month, and am already itching to get the new Murakami, among others.

  3. I've heard SUCH good things about The Miniaturist, including from a Waterstones girl who was enthusiastically hand-selling it to the guy at the counter ahead of me while I listened in like a creeper. I still haven't read The Cuckoo's Calling, I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Horns - the movie trailer looks so brilliant - and I've got to ask, which is the book on the pile about mental health? SO MUCH GOODNESS HAPPENING HERE, IS WHAT I'M SAYING. Happy reading this week, I'll be stalking you as always! :P

    1. We had it at work for half price, and I just about resisted buying it until my colleague Simon decided to buy it, and managed to persuade me to get it after all. It didn't take much persuading - the book had been whispering "Buy me, Katie, buy me" for about three weeks beforehand. Then, the day after I bought Horns, I found the hardback in Poundland! Arrgh! (Not that I begrudge paying for books at all.) The mental health book ("That's Not A Feeling") turned out not to be much about mental health at all, and was a bit disappointing in that respect - not a terrible book but not what I'd hoped for. I'll write about it in more detail some time in the next couple of days.

    2. Hmmm, I'll probably skip That's Not a Feeling then. And I totally understand with the Poundland thing - I mean, there's willingly paying for books, and there's finding it so cheap it'd be criminal not to have bought it, y'know? HOW CAN YOU NOT BE PISSED OFF ABOUT THAT?! I did that once, bought a book full price in the indie bookshop we used to have in town, then literally found the same book, in pristine condition, for 50p in a charity shop next door, less than five minutes later. It was not a happy moment.

  4. You doing great considering you have to work each day so far. Keep up the good work. Happy reading :)


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